Grizzlies Will Crush Steph Curry-less Warriors On Christmas

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The Golden State Warriors (15-18) are going to get crushed on Christmas without Steph Curry when they face the Memphis Grizzlies (19-11) at the Chase Center.

  • Both teams’ records are as of Thursday, December 22nd, and each play Friday.

These teams are heading in opposite directions coming into this game. Memphis has the best net rating (nRTG) in the Association this month whereas Golden State is 24th in nRTG.

As of Thursday, the Warriors have lost five of their last six games — 1-5 against the spread (ATS) — and the Grizzlies have dropped back-to-back games. But, Memphis won its first seven games in December.

The Warriors struggled when Curry was available but now that Steph is sidelined with a shoulder injury there could be some dark days in Golden State’s near future.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: Grizzlies (-180), Warriors (+155)
  • ATS: GRIZZLIES -4.5 (-110), Warriors +4.5 (-110)
  • Total — 223.5 — Over (O): -110, Under (U): -110

Ja was the best player on the floor when these teams met last year in the playoffs

I’m not convinced Golden State would’ve beaten Memphis in last season’s playoffs if Morant didn’t get hurt in Game 3. Ja had a would-be game-winning layup bounce off the rim at the end of Game 1.

More importantly, Ja outplayed Curry in their Western Conference Semifinals series. Curry played all six games but Morant outscored him 38.3-26.0 PPG with a higher true shooting rate (62.3-56.8%).

Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Chase Center in San Francisco.
Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Chase Center in San Francisco. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ja averaged more rebounds and assists per game and his +17 net rating (nRTG) was much better than Curry’s +8 nRTG. Morant wreaked havoc on the Warriors’ backcourt in those three games, averaging 3.0 steals per game in that series.

With that in mind, Memphis should have no problem scoring easy buckets off of turnovers because …

Golden State has clumsy ball security

The Warriors have the second-worst offensive turnover rate in the Association and allow the most points off of turnovers per game. Even when Golden State is at the peak of its powers, the Warriors still turn the ball too much.

Memphis on the other hand is one of the more aggressive defenses in the NBA. The Grizzlies were fourth in points off of turnovers per game last season. They aren’t forcing as many turnovers this year but that should pick up in this revenge spot for Memphis.

Furthermore …

The Warriors NEED Curry

In seven games without Curry this season, the Warriors are 1-6 overall with an average margin of -17.0 points per game (PPG). Curry has a +20.1 non-garbage time on/off net rating (nRTG), according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry walks backcourt during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry walks backcourt during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Also, compare Curry’s +8 nRTG to his teammates vs. the Grizzlies in their playoff series. Splash Brother Klay Thompson had a -8 nRTG, combo guard Jordan Poole had a -7 nRTG and Draymond Green had a -10 nRTG.

This leads me to my final factor in Grizzlies-Warriors, which is …

Memphis has more depth

The Grizzlies proved last season that they could hold down the fort with Ja on the sidelines. In fact, Memphis was 20-5 overall in games Morant missed in 2022-23.

That has tailed off this season but the Grizzlies are still the deeper team. This month, they have the best bench +/- in the NBA (+4.0) whereas the Warriors’ bench ranks 29th in +/- (-3.7).

BET: Grizzlies -4.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -5

The Memphis Grizzlies' odds at the Golden State Warriors from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, December 23rd at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ odds at the Golden State Warriors from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, December 23rd at 10:30 a.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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